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iHear Voices: feature from SudiAyo

iHear Voices

I hear voices all the time. They tell me that I am among the fastest growing population of HIV/AIDS infection. They tell me that I am AT RISK for hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even obesity. They tell me that I, as a college-educated black woman, would more than likely NOT marry a college-educated black man, because there are more black men incarcerated than enrolled in college. These voices tell me that if I have an aspiration to be on television, I can either be the oversexed, big booty, loud mouth. Or I can be an angry, bitter, so-called strong black woman that no one likes, or gets along with.

What about my voice? What about what I have to say? Is anybody ready to listen? And black men, where are you to defend our honor? My voice says “stop the violence!” when Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin were gunned down and when Jamal and Ricky take innocent lives for no good reason. Can you hear my voice when on prime-time cable news, moderating political news commentary like Melissa Harris-Perry? Did you hear my voice when the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama says “Let’s Move” to promote a youth weight-loss campaign? What about the voice of a real boss, Ursula M. Burns CEO of the Xerox Corporation. She is the ONLY black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. These voices I hear sound sweet to me like dripping honey. Sounds like Kerry Washington or Viola Davis when they deliver one of Shonda Rhimes’ masterful verbal scripts. Or when Beyonce and all the fly girls I know sing out “I woke up like this – Flawless.” This is what speaks to me. These are the voices that speak for me. As long as I keep hearing these voices, I know my life matters and somebody is listening. Good news is, I hear voices all the time.



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